OCALA, Fla. - An Ocala family is adjusting to life without their beloved pet, Chevy, an English bulldog.
Chevy was staying at Red Fern Pet Lodge, somewhere he's stayed before. His owners, Brandi and Thomas Seponski dropped him off before heading to Iowa.
While they were boarding their plane, the Seponskis got a call from the daycare that Chevy was starting to breathe heavily, but they would monitor the situation and keep them updated. When they landed in Iowa, they got the call that no pet owner wants to get. Chevy died at the Emergency Vet hospital.
"I wasn't prepared for the news that I got. I was in complete shock," Brandi Seponski said.
Dick Andrews, owns the dog daycare in Ocala. He told FOX 35 News that he is devastated by what happened. Andrews believes his team did everything they could. Andrews said Chevy was inside air conditioning most of the day, minus two-three minute walks outside. He ate his food, had water, and was checked up on. Andrews said about an hour after Chevy ate, he started to show distressed signs, he was breathing heavily.
Brandi Seponski said records show when he arrived at UF Veterinary Hospital he was blue, had no pulse and his body temperature was 107 degrees. She said he died of heat stroke.
Chevy is an English bulldog, which can be more sensitive to heat. Dr. Adesola Odunayo works as an Emergency Vet. She said dogs with flat faces have a harder time breathing so being in higher temperatures makes it tougher.
"Taking them out on walks, for a human it might seem like just a short walk. Dogs can't compensate quite as well like humans can," Odunayo said.
Seponski said she wishes the team acted faster. "The minute they saw he was in distress because he was overheated, there are a lot of things you can do. Put him in a cooler bath, is one."
Andrews told FOX 35, they are reviewing all protocols and training to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
"As a pet owner myself, I am devastated. If it's mine, I'm devastated. When it's someone else's pet, I'm more devastated," Andrews said. "We love what we do, when we look at the pets that are in our facility when we have invested in everything we have, our state-of-the-art facility, our air conditioners, the training of our staff, and still something happens."
Seponski said she hopes her family's story brings awareness to other pet owners that use boarding facilities to make sure the facility knows how to take care of certain breeds and know what symptoms to look out for if they are in heat distress.
"To think there's a family that went home without their beloved dog, it will haunt me," Andrews said.